Communities of Reinvention Practice

By George Pór and originally posted on Facebook

Do join the conversation there, or in the comments below.

A shift has just happened in how I start my workday. It seems a minor one, but as I reflect on it, I’m discovering something fascinating that pulls my attention towards you, towards inviting you into co-exploring HOW we are a community.

Usually, I start my workday by checking my email, responding to the quick ones and marking for “later” the ones that need a more thoughtful response. Next, I go to the 50+ channels of the Enlivening Edge on Slack to see whether there is anything urgent that I need to comment on from some of the roles that I’m enegizing. Then I scan the Slack team of the various other groups and organizations that I’m working with, check Google News that replaced my morning newspaper, and finally, I come here, the EE Community on FB.

This morning, the mouse wandering across the digital landscape led me here, first. It’s a “psychic mouse” that doesn’t always need direct instructions from my mind; it can also pick up my subconscious messages, as it has just done. The surprise stops me in my tracks and makes me wonder: why, what has really altered my morning routine?

As I contemplate that question while looking into your eyes on the page I feel a warm sensation in my chest that connects me with the sweetness of the friendship with some of you, which I’m blessed with. But there must be something more to why I got here first this morning because I have dear friends in the other cyber-neighborhoods too.

Here it is: I arrive here always with a great curiosity. It’s like going to school in my first year; what will I discover today, what will I be able to do that I wasn’t yesterday? Here, that question begets another one: what will our community teach me about becoming a better contributor to it?

My special thankyou for guiding me this morning to an answer to the last question goes to Gertraud, who quoted from Helen‘s article in Kosmos…/evolutionary-entrepreneursh…/ :

“Informed by these understandings of the properties of living systems in an evolving universe, we can increase our impact by joining with others to create communities of practice. As cohesive communities of practice, we can reach out to other communities of practitioners in other neighbouring fields. We can then form systems of influence in which evolutionary entrepreneurs become nodal points of integral consciousness that can join with other civil societies, public and private actors to hold the field for global transformation.”

Wow! What a wise teaching in the bottle thrown 8 years ago into the ocean time, which is now brought to our shore!! Let’s uncork the bottle and unpack together the message. A good place to start may be what is being communicated in the description of this group to people who want to learn about:

“We are a commons, where we share freely our knowledge and inspirations that contribute to the common good.”

“We are also a community of practice, where we introduce projects we are working on, ask and receive support, explore challenging questions from our practice, share news and views pertinent to the work of reinventing organizations and social systems.”

One of the lessons that I learned from 25 years of working professionally with communities of PRACTICE (CoP) is that they distinguish themselves from other kind of communities, by their members sharing a passion for something they do and learning how to do it better as they interact regularly.

Before a CoP can “reach out to other communities of practitioners in other neighbouring fields,” as Helen’s message in the bottle suggested, it needs to develop some clarity and coherence about what is:

• the distinctive DOMAIN of practice that differentiates it from its neighbors

• the shared repertoire of resources (experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems) useful to develop the PRACTICE

• the level of the members’ interest to build relationships that inspire learning from and standing with each other, as a COMMUNITY

The last point is particularly important in online communities because having a website or a Facebook group in itself doesn’t define a community of practice.

For the movement of Reinventing Organization to reach the tipping point and become the new mainstream, it needs first to become a system of strong influence grown. That system will, most likely, be an ecosystem of communities of practice, including ours.

It can be a long way, but not as long as you might think if you consider that in times of rapid changes, when the conditions for (r)evolutionary transformation are unfrozen, things may move with exponential speed.

Whether our journey will be long or short, it starts with one step, the step towards finding each other by answering in the comments below this question:

What communities of reinvention practice do YOU want to play (or are already playing) in, given the reinvention of what kind of organization you are (or want to be) engaged in?

Please reply with enough specificity to make it easy for others with similar reinvention passion to find you.

excited about our journey together,